Mr Ademola Adebise, managing director and chief executive officer of Wema Bank Plc, has advised accountants to store data securely and protect themselves from cybersecurity threats and other criminal breaches.
Adebisi made the remarks while speaking at the 16th Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Western Accountants Conference, which was held in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, and was themed “Digital Economy: Whither the Professional Accountant”.
The MD of Wema Bank, who emphasized the importance of data storage and security, stated that accountants in the digital age must be flexible and knowledgeable to save data on storage devices on-premises or in the cloud.
He also mentioned that in the event of a loss or data corruption, the 21st-century accountant must be familiar with the Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) to mitigate loss.
Adebisi stated that a large amount of data is sitting on storage. As accountants, we need to safeguard our storage and be versed in data recovery and business continuity planning should there be a loss or corruption of data.
“The accountant must know contemporary issues on cybersecurity – ensuring that digital information is safe and secure, at all times. Going digital exposes you to risk from hackers. So, as an accountant, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity and must know the various data and information security standards to audit the environment”.
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In addition to storing data securely and being sensitive to security, the MD/CEO emphasized the need for modern accountants to be aware of the changes occurring in the profession, including the evolution away from traditional data collection methods.
He said: “These include using Enterprise Resource Planning systems that are interconnected to process data from production, distribution, marketing, and sales. The accountant, therefore, needs to be skilled to understand the complexities, transaction flows of the new ways of doing things and understand what data is saying”.
He emphasized that in Nigeria, the most common types of cybercrime that accountants and other professionals in the financial services sector are vulnerable to include fraudulent electronic mails, identity theft, hacking, cyber harassment, spamming, and ATM spoofing.
The most common, however, is still the use of fraudulent emails. According to the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), bank customers lost N3.6 billion to cyber-fraud in the last two years (2017 and 2018). According to data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), attempted fraud totalled N9 billion in 2018.